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Listings in order:

The following lists some of the items appearing in Steps along the way of Chess



First steps

Of the book, of the author

Of the Median-lands, of Merridonia


Indented contents



“.....the most exciting game in the world”



A brief note regarding the origin and history of Chess

The Steps Tapestry, and cloaks and scarves

Chess – Game or Sport

Interpretation of rules etc.

Standard points of note, rules and procedures etc.

A note on direction pointers

Of changes to Kings and Queens.....and of Pikemen and Lancers

The trapping of a Queen

Deployment determinations – Pre-set, Played and Random

Other names for Checkmate including the reserved name of Surrounding, and a note on additional objectives to and other objectives than Checkmate, and other strategies

Castling renamed

Saying Check

A note on placement of captured pieces

The Standard moving pattern

Boards with decoration and ornamentation, Piece types - representational, symbolic, standard and gothic Staunton, traditional, and role-played; also variation designations and game notation

Referees and additional services

Player and team identification

Game type examples - a Maze game and Convergence games

Types of moves - Switching, Sliding, Jumping, Leaping, Threading, and Flying

Special moves - Protecting the Queen, En passant, a Magic carpet Ride and Boarding, Teleportation and Amulets, Stepping and Stepping over, Compulsory and continuing captures, and Promotions

Different names in different games for participating characters (pieces)

Further descriptive terms

There is no à outrance and a note on captured participants (pieces) after games

Scoring and currency and tax, also incomes and prices, and A Rider…..types of points – Satellite game, Satellite nominal and Satellite token

A New Hope

Role playing and productions and game adventure holidays

Game recording and story telling

Live game commentating and analysis

Post play comments and analysis



Part one: The Games



A Chess Set: a Handful of Games

The Cornerstone of Steps


Base Games

Western chess

Chinese chess

Arabian chess

Mongolian chess

Capablanca chess

Matched games and Bridge games



LancerChess with Lancers.....and a New balance

Mysterious times


Game transpositions and Opening line transpositions

Kingside protection and the King's Lancer, and a mention of comparisons to queenside protection

A note on the compass points

The Game called International Chess and the Royal Game


Adjournment to:

Mystery Quest: a Magic-carpet Ride

‘No game has surpassed Chess to the extent that it has commanded a following in all countries…..’


Iraq 847: The Arabian chess World Championship Match

‘… international contest that seems to carry a hint of the classic Fisher/Spassky clashes.’

A Horseman’s Journey by al’Adli

Momentous Times I

A Secret Sealed – But What Revealed

Patterns in the Force


Brooklyn 1876: The English draughts World Championship Match

Not so Bonnie over the Ocean


St Petersburg 1914: The Western chess Grandmaster Tournament

‘….. the Czar named the first five players the Grandmasters of Chess…..’

Momentous Times II

A Mystery Opening


Return to Reykjavík 1972: The Western chess World Championship Match

‘Quick as a flash came Bobby’s move’

‘Then, without thinking very long over it, Bobby made his notorious twenty-ninth move…..’

Back to Slovenia I

A Simulation


New York 1997: A Different chess World Championship Match

‘I still remember the days of the world championship match between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky in 1972.’

Back to Slovenia II


Continuation of LancerChess:

Of Towers and Siege towers

A Clash of Knights and Lancers

Basic values of Base game pieces, also Lancers and the Jini

Checkmate with the Adjacent, the Leading Swordsman and the King’s Lancer…..and a move outside the box

Chess Demonstrations, Chess Puzzles and Chess Problems

A beginner's puzzle - the King's Lancer's circuit 2D

A further puzzle - the King's Lancer's circuit 3D

Rhunich journeys with example piece-capturing route

A note on current tournament type and size of Western chess pieces and boards

Pictures of Staunton chess pieces and Gothic variation pieces



A Game within a Game

The Magic stream of the Rainbow territories

The Placement phase with Alternate placing and the Engagement phase

The Forbidden squares and their ethos

Traditional placement - an offer and acceptance

 Accelerated placement - an offer and acceptance

Encounter placements - counter-offers and acceptance

Open placements - without accepted offers or counter-offers

A note on Encounter

Picture of traditional Chinese chess pieces

Perhaps the most-played Board Game in the World


Intermission to:

Cannon-fire  Cannon-fire

‘…..the Cannon is the most intriguing and exiting feature of Hsiang Ch’i…..’


Phantom chess

An Unclear Situation

The root of all Chess – first Indian chess

Derivations from travels of Chinese chess including Korean chess and Japanese chess

A note on the Game of Go

Plateau chess

The Chinese and Korean variations

Soldiers-in-Command - with Checkmate examples…..and Mini-games

Stepped Fixed-reserve Clock

The Snow-lepan and Qsiang-ze Provinces

The Awning of the World

Snow-leopards and an anagram

The Plateau Clock system

The (Stepped) Simultaneous Countdown clock

Time alerts and Clock flags

Requesting extra time

Level categories and (the Plateau) handicap system

Stepladder tournaments

Mini leagues, matches and a knockout series

Preliminary and final events

Tournament bonus, allotment and Sum of Digits allocation of points

Tournament journals

Allotment and allocation calculations and walk-through tests

Two-piece Pin by a Cannon

Triple Check

Quadruple-check with Checkmate – a puzzle

Opening shots and the Corner trap with a Desperado…..An Unexpected move

The Quickfire gambit

One Shot to Six Shot variations


First move advantage percentages, with calculations

Training and Practice including Knights v Cannons & Chinese-Indian chess


Re-commencement of QiPlacements:

Talismanic Sceptres and rays

After-the-Battle happenings



Aladdin…..and Chess

A beautiful Princess and a wicked Magician, and Magic carpets and Jinis in Magic lamps.....and a brave young Prince

A Game played for over a Thousand Years

Picture of ancient Arabian Chess pieces

Arabella - Traditional variation

Arabella - Modern variation

Of Horses and training of skills

Caves and spells of concealment.....and Further adventures

Invasion - Traditional variation

Invasion - Modern variation

Invasion - Points of Checkmate

Arabian chess - Steps version with Magic amulets, and Historical version

The Raja of Indian chess, a Magic Horse, and Arabian-Indian chess

Some more piece values

A further Regal Character



The Principal kingdoms of Meridian and their traditions

Meridian - Western variation

Meridian - Eastern variation

The Snow Panther of Mongolian chess and Pouncing

Something of 19th century Western chess, Something of Chinese chess

Picture of an old Mongolian Chess set

The Khan - a King and a Horseman

The Khan’s potential value and Checkmating abilities

A Combination of Western and Eastern

Of Secret passageways

The Escape rule - restricted and unrestricted, and values

Swordsmen - Values and Checkmating abilities



Storm and 10x8 and 10x10 boards

The Emerald forest and Fireworks games

The Uncharted regions - The World that Time Forgot

Of Foresters and their placement, both role-played and with piece sets

Also of light haired and dark haired Service-maidens

Complex tactics and Crossfire

Notes on Princes and Princesses, and Foresters and their King and Queen

More piece values  including the Storm Emperor and the Ice Dragon

Lateral and vertical move combinations

Flying the Dragon by SAE Nicholls

The Steps Move scheme

Book only - Reference to Zillions of Games: Khan v Storm Emperor & King v Storm Prince (moves shown in Hard Copy only)

One piece line-up tables

The most popular of Piece Variants

Picture of Staunton type Capablanca pieces

Using a two-sided board

Hierarchy of Dwellers

Examples of tactics

Blockable double check

Double pin

Triple check



Additional Games



The Lore of RiverQi

RiverQi - Crossing the River of Many Bridges

RiverQi - Soldier variation

RiverQi - Hawker variation

RiverQi - Water-horse variation



Siege - the mission of Banner carriers

Siege - Field variation

Siege - Trench variation

Siege with Berolina infantrymen

Siege - A comparison between Infantrymen

Siege - Re-enactments and 'What-if' re-enactments

Siege - a comparison of objectives



Gyroscope - Directors and scarce resources, Freemen and the Golden Broker

Gyroscope with a 5x5 3D board



The Jewel series games

A mention of software applications.....and a quote

A note on Zugzwang



Duel - a practice game for beginners

Example Duel game



Skirmish - further practice for beginners and inexperienced players

Example Skirmish game



Combat and chivalry


Northern Light with Kaleidoscope

Shielded squares

Northern Light with Pages and dashing young Officers


Also Kaleidoscope where a Duchess must be Encircled

A comparison of Stalemate and various passing of moves


Crystal of Doom

Crystal of Doom - a legendary Talisman

Of Swordfights with glowing swords.....and Raiders in the dark.....and Seers.....and a Trek


Lost Treasure

Lost Treasure and a Green Gem



Relay – Race-legs and Board shapes

Relay - Running and Obstacle variations



Part two: Grouping of Games


Game groups and their types

A Hope for more than the sum of the parts

Individuals and teams

A mention of consultation games and a note on the Opera game

Examples of (fixed) bonus scoring

A note on possible groups for Siege and RiverQi

A question raised on most-ever popular board games

A Steps Trilogy and variable bonus scoring

The Rainbow group

An Accelerated bonus

The Jini group

Arabella and the Key to a Treasure

The Chequered group

The Chequered Saga and Merit prizes, and Marks

The Meridian group

The Forest group

Enhanced game status - a reserved designation set

From the first Stepping-stone to the last - Promoted games

The Jewel series with Key positions within Keys in Time

The Jewel series and next-game advantages and cumulative scoring, also independent scoring

Jewel team play and beginners

The Woodland parallel group

The Realm transfer group

Relay - Swing scoring and grouplets, the Combat grouplet


Also there is included:

Parallel playing of Chess and Crossover moving patterns

Single and dual clock sets – and a possible greater impact

Parallel and Linear match play - a comparison

Swing-changeover and Halfway-changeover match play – a comparison

Transfer playing of Chess

Transfer chess piece entrenchment

The Groups landscape with notes

Swings and Pendulums

Exhibitions of Simultaneous playing and Blindfold playing and Grandmasters, also productions and awards

Games at odds

The Rhunich Dice

Picture of Rhunich Dice



Part three: Timing of Games

Time management - a Chess skill

Single countdown clocks

Tournament clocks

Fischer clocks - perhaps with Bobby Fischer's preferred settings

Hourglass clocks

Picture of Hourglass

Pauses and Holds

Intervals and Intermissions


Increases and Reductions

Sealed moves

Of time pressure and scrambles

Phased Countdown clocks - standard

Phased Countdown clocks - triple controls

Independent Single countdown clocks

Phased Increment clocks - standard

Phased Increment clocks - variable parameters, with example

Clock display method showing actual and potential times

Phased Combination clocks, with illustration

Phased Swing clocks - standard, with illustration

Phased Swing clocks - open ended

Calendar chess - Interludes & Recycled reserves.....Format combinations & Concurrent play



Part four: Other


Further games:


A reference to Stones of Fortune



A legendary Sword

Proclamations and prerogative

Rewards for the endeavours of Pikemen

The Earl and a dangerous mid-game possibility

After the battle Promotions


Shadow - where Checkmate becomes Locking-up


A Draughts Set:

General Introduction

TwinDraughts Introduction

Board and basic deployment

Of an eligible young Princess

Boards and diagonals

Champions and Men-at Arms

Further deployment

Winning objectives and requirements – Decisive win and To First win

Occurrences upon reaching the end rank

The Dual playing format

Individual, team and four-handed play

TwinDraughts cards


Practice variations

Core variation – Rebound

Outward and Homeward bound Men-at-Arms, also the Go and Transfer variations

Core variation – Reset

Royal Champions, also the Clearance, Transfer and Promotion variations

Main core variation – Election

Full choice and First only choice

The Royal variation

Transferable option

Reaching the end rank as additional winning opportunities

The TwinDraughts group


Reversing the move

Champion + Man-at-Arms v Champion

RoyalDraughts – Single-set and Two-set

Sovereign - English draughts v RoyalDraughts

The Diagonal groupling and a Highly influential game

Calendar draughts

Draughts and Daleks

Picture of traditional Draughts pieces


Circuits and Tours

Tour of a Knight on a 5x5 board

Tour of a Knight on a 4x3 board

Circuit of a Knight on an 8x8 board

3D Circuit of a King's Lancer on a 3x3x3 board


Studies etc.

An aside with a mention of Spectator involvement

The Saavedra position where a Skewer, if overlooked, could turn the tables

The Golden move and a Shower of Gold

The Platinum move on a Birthday to celebrate

The Silver move - a Silver bullet.....and a Second shot

A Chinese chess game and the Pursuit of a General

An Arabian chess Mansuba


Author participation: a Handful of Roles

Notes on favourites and the Parallel-swing playing arrangement

Reasons for preferring group play and a further mention of A Steps Trilogy

Favourite Chess computers and other various software

The Rhunich puzzle set – the Rhunich dice plus the Rhunich jigsaw

An aside - Table Hockey

The Rhunich games computer


Further thoughts

Name changes etc. including:

A note on a Steps Inventory of Reserved names and terms

The River Xiangqi

Phased or Stepped clocks

Picture of representational Western chess pieces

Picture of 3D representational Chinese chess pieces

The Bronze Stadium Board

The New-Camelot Board by Glenn Nicholls


Further pieces including:

Basic piece - a Pike senior (Senior pikeman)

Powerful piece - a Lance-commander (Royal pikeman)

Powerful piece - a Knight-royal

Powerful piece - the Storm Emperor

Mythological piece - the Ice Dragon and setting him afire

Mythological piece - the Elder Winged-serpent

Mythological piece - the Younger Winged-serpent

A reference to the Game and features of Dragon


Other games and variations, and a few novelties:


Game variation – The Two Towers

Game event – The Return of the King

Examples of other game events

Game variation - Breakout

Game variation - 8x8 Capablanca chess

Game variation - Storm Force 24 with a table of piece values and a note on non-forceful pieces, also a (Storm) Shelter and piece attributes and classifications

A note on Royal, Pre-eminent and Eminent pieces


Convene to the Boardroom:

     Agenda - The Steps Handicap System

            A Free and Open membership

            League & Tournament eligibility

            Games list

            Table of Handicaps, Piece values & Games Skyline etc.

            Run-through of Templates and Points on Steps Naming Scheme & Equipment

            Extra-fast opening lines

            Selective searching

            Increased manoeuvrability

            Western and Lancer Storms, also the Cornerstone Opening

            Book only – Reference and moves to Chessmaster Western-Storm game

            An Eastern Storm

            The Korean variation

            Ratings-only Games

            League & Tournament formats

            The Reykjavik Standard

             Playing on until Checkmate

             Further notes including using Clocks for Parallel play

            Community Chess or Chance

            Various Comparisons - Ways and Formats of Play

Resumption of Steps:


Object variation - Occupation of an opposing Palace.....with Standard bearers and Royal guards

Promotion variation - Lesser value piece promotion on the penultimate rank

A note on opening theory

The Home rank, an alternate name for the First rank

Deployment variation – Squeeze-down (or Swing or Pendulum) placing

Deployment variation – Mirrored shuffling (unrotated and rotated)

Changeover chess - Width v Depth

Various including:

Winning by promotion to First Queen

Parallel play and time advantage for Tie-breaks

Forced passing and From Stalemate to Checkmate reference

The Jewel portrait with notes

Tournament and Match play, and Bonus points

Use of Computers - Game recording, Legality check and Possible moves list, and Graphic board position

Player ratings and the Elo system.....and outstanding players

Savings Account of Merridonia.....and A Further Hope



Inclusions and Links (Book only)



The Steps Tapestry (in progress)

The Groups landscape

The Jewel portrait

Note -  these may be clearer than those in the main text


Key to Merriam Webster special font



Merridonia Register

Tiger’s-eye Games

Steps tables (in progress)

Boards and information tables etc.


Various folders

Author details



Stamp & File path & Word count




Shaye-Alexander Ellis Nicholls of Rhun, Merridonia

Sunday, 8th January 2023


Page finishes


This 'user submitted' page is a collaboration between the posting user and the Chess Variant Pages. Registered contributors to the Chess Variant Pages have the ability to post their own works, subject to review and editing by the Chess Variant Pages Editorial Staff.

By Glenn Nicholls.

Last revised by Glenn Nicholls.

Web page created: 2015-11-09. Web page last updated: 2015-11-09